Conveying critical information to your customers is now more important than ever, as regulations and restrictions change weekly. To communicate updates effectively, you must reach customers everywhere they’re looking for you and be aware of the features available to you at this time. But, as new features continue to be introduced to online listings frequently, it can become daunting to keep up with the latest and greatest. To keep your brand informed on the most pertinent COVID-19 listings features, we curated a list of the most important features and functionality related to COVID-19 on listings platforms and third-party directories, and how and when to use them.

We will keep this list updated often, so be sure to check back to learn the latest updates and features available to your brand.

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Updates as of August 4, 2020

Platform Feature Description Use Case
Google My Business Secondary Hours Secondary hours are now available in GMB for some categories, including: drive-through, senior hours, delivery hours, visiting hours, takeout hours, and pick-up hours. Secondary hours should be utilized if you have special hours that vary from your standard hours of operation. Such as a quick-service restaurant that has different hours for their drive-through.
Google My Business Insurance Links Insurance information is available for select merchants in the US only. It displays for merchants whose insurance availability is provided to Google. On your Business Profile on Google Search, under your business’s hours, a “Check insurance info” link might display. Google will automatically include this link if we identify insurance availability through our third-party provider.
Yelp Attributes New attributes have been added to allow businesses to better highlight safety protocols they have in place and updates in their services to accommodate the need for social distancing. Attributes vary by vertical across 1,200 different Yelp categories. Multi-location brands can have their enterprise listings management partner bulk upload or submit edits for attribute updates via API.
Yelp Amenities In addition to keeping your standard amenities up to date, make sure your COVID-specific ones are accurate and current so customers understand your current in-store experience. Some of these COVID-19-related amenities which all businesses should notate if they have them available include: “Staff wears masks”, “Staff wears gloves”, “Contactless payments”, and more.

 

Updates as of May 14, 2020

Platform Feature Description Use Case
Google My Business COVID-19 Google Posts COVID-19 Google Posts stay posted for 28 days and are displayed on mobile search, maps and other apps. These can now be submitted via API (posts for chain businesses were previously barred from API access).
Google My Business COVID-19 Support Links Eligible businesses can create a gift card or donation campaign. This feature lets you add a short message and a link to your gift card or donation page. You can link a donation or gift card URL from any of these  providers GoFundMe, PayPal, Square, Toast, Vagaro, and Clover.
Google My Business Attributes Healthcare brands can add “COVID-19 info link”, “online care” and “virtual care” attributes to their GMB profiles. Healthcare attributes are available only to healthcare brands in GMB. Attributes can be submitted in bulk or API.
Google My Business Attributes Retail and/or dining brands can add “curbside pickup”, “takeout”, “in-store pickup”, “delivery”, no-contact delivery”, and “in-store shopping”. “Delivery”, “In-store pickup” and “takeout” attributes were updated to display prominently on Desktop and Mobile search results, designated with Green Checkmarks if available or a red X if not available. Tags also display on maps as labels in place of business bio. Available for retail & dining.
Google My Business Attributes Hotel brands can add a “COVID-19 responder policy” attribute to their GMB profiles. These are displayed on mobile search only. Notate if you have special accommodations or discounts for COVID-19 responders, such as healthcare/medical workers, frontline responders, and essential workers.
Google My Business Temporary Closures When a business is marked as temporary closed, it now acts similar to an Open business (not hidden from serp and no ranking impact). The ability to mark your listings as Temp closed was also added to the GMB UI & API, was previously only editable by GMB support. If your business has adjusted hours or is temporarily closed for a short period of time (less than two weeks), we recommend you use special hours. For longer, extended closures, two weeks or more, we recommend you use the temporarily closed status.
Google My Business COVID-19 Testing Sites Google surfacing Coronavirus testing centers on maps first and then search. These are notated with strong CTA features including Appointment required, referral required, testing for all patients, and drive through. Sites that test for COVID-19 should indicate through available CTAs the requirements for visiting your location. This will allow you to better communicate with potential customers and minimize inquiries.
Google My Business Schema Special Announcements for COVID-19 from health and government agency sites are highlighted in Google Search results. Announcements can include: Facility closures, event rescheduling, and new availability of medical facilities, such as testing centers.
Yelp Covid-19 Advisory Alert A COVID-19 Advisory Alert is displayed at the top of all Yelp Business Pages. If you don’t provide a custom message, a generic banner will be shown. Edit this alert to communicate specific updates about your business in response to COVID-19.
Yelp Virtual Service Offerings Choose from new virtual service offerings that will be displayed on your Yelp Business Page within the Services Offered section. Search results can be filtered to show virtual offerings. Including, but not limited to: Virtual Classes, Virtual Consultations and Virtual Tours.
Facebook Temporary Service Changes Indicate locations are “Open With Service Changes” or “Temporarily Closed” to announce temporary service changes on your Facebook Page and in searches. The information can appear on the Page, the Page preview, in search and in curated lists of local resources on Facebook.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to businesses. Up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries where we operate will be able to receive the grant.
Facebook Digital Gift Cards When you set up a digital gift card with one of our partners, people in your area will be able to discover it right on Facebook, and you can also share it on your Instagram profile. When they click on your gift card, they’ll be able to purchase it online immediately through one of our partners. Companies include hospitals, medical device, medical practices and mental healthcare, disaster relief nonprofits, warehousing, supermarket and package delivery.
Twitter Covid-19 Account Verification Twitter is prioritizing Verification for Twitter accounts that have an email address associated with an authoritative health organization or institution. Ensure your Twitter bio references (and links to) the institution you are associated with, and that the page you link to includes a reference back to your Twitter account.
Twitter Ad Policy Twitter is allowing managed clients and partners to advertise content containing reference to COVID-19 in some use cases: Adjustments to business practices and/or models in response to COVID-19, or support for customers and employees related to COVID-19. Distasteful references to COVID-19 are prohibited. Content may not be sensational or likely to incite panic. Prices of products related to COVID-19 may not be inflated. Currently, prohibit the advertising of facemasks and alcohol hand sanitizers.
LinkedIn Urgent Hiring  Healthcare-related organizations can post new mission-critical jobs free for three months (April 1 to June 30). Jobs will receive extra promotion to highly relevant candidates through a special “Urgently Hiring” job category. Companies include hospitals, medical device, medical practices and mental healthcare, disaster relief nonprofits, warehousing, supermarket, and package delivery.
Healthgrades Telehealth Services Badge  Add a new telehealth services badge to profiles for physicians, NPs, and PAs. Consumers will be able to use telehealth as a filter to quickly find providers they can see remotely. Healthgrades will also support links from healthgrades.com directly to the physician’s website/landing page for the telehealth service.
Bing COVID-19 Info Links Add special announcements of hours and closures for local businesses, information on risk assessment and testing centers, and travel restrictions and guidelines. Bing pulls in announcements from local businesses, hospitals, schools and government offices that use the schema.org markup for SpecialAnnouncement, gettingTestedInfo and CovidTestingFacility.
Bing GoFundMe Small business owners with a Bing Places for Business account can set up a GoFundMe fundraiser. Bing will showcase your GoFundMe on the Bing local listing page. Follow the prompts on GoFundMe as directed, and your fundraiser will now show up on Bing local listing pages, where customers can click directly to your GoFundMe to donate.
Bing Schema Add special announcements of special hours and closures for local businesses, information on risk assessment and testing centers, and travel restrictions and guidelines. A label showing your special announcements related to the COVID-19 pandemic with a link to your site for more details may be used on web results for your official website and in local listings shown on the SERP or map experiences. Bing pulls in announcements from local businesses, hospitals, schools, government offices, and more that use the schema.org markup for SpecialAnnouncement, gettingTestedInfo and CovidTestingFacility.
Apple Maps COVID-19 Testing Locations Healthcare providers, labs and other businesses that would like to provide information on COVID-19 testing locations can now do so through Apple Business Register. Searches for nearby testing information may include information on whether getting tested is recommended and, if so, how to locate a nearby testing facility and find instructions for getting tested at that center.
CareDash Provider Telehealth Healthcare organizations and facilities can use new API telemedicine support features to let patients know about availability for telemedicine and schedule appointments. An indicator will appear on all telemedicine provider profiles. Telemedical status can be activated via individual dashboard or through a bulk upload tool.

 

For more resources on local marketing best practices and updates related to COVID-19, we invite you to check out our COVID-19 Resources page.